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Everything posted by IJskonijn

  1. Whoops, time to book my plane tickets again. I've been going to Parasummer for three years now, and every time they managed to hit the right balance between a low-pressure cozy boogie, and solid organization. Perfect for a foreign holiday that includes some of the most awesome views I've seen from above. Veteran's tip: bring liquorice for the manifest/info desk. They seem to like it.
  2. I have never jumped in those specific countries, but I have jumped in nearby countries (Poland, Romania). Home is the Netherlands for me. In all cases, I never needed additional insurance over the default insurance that the KNVvL membership provides, which is 1.5M€ secondary third-party liability insurance (secondary, as in it only pays if I have no other insurance that covers it, and it only pays for damages caused to third-parties). I don't remember if they even needed that, although jumping in the UK did require that insurance. In practice, rules and regulations are likely different between each of those countries. The most fool-proof method would be to contact prospective dropzones on your route and ask them directly what kind of insurance you'll need to be allowed to jump.
  3. My suggestions: 1. Check that it has the correct batteries, and that they are installed with the correct polarity. VISO II needs CR-2325 batteries. 2. Check with new-new batteries. Maybe your 'new' set of batteries have been laying around for too long, and lost too much juice to power up the altimeter. 3. If the problem is still there, I suggest you contact L&B directly, especially if your altimeter is still within warranty.
  4. Yeah, but is it the "20 years" or the "heavy use, getting fuzzed up from wear or heavily faded from sunlight" that's at the root of the strength loss?
  5. (Not my reserve ride, nor my canopy, nor my gear decisions) Risers had no slider bumpers. Slinks and type 17 risers. So yeah, the likely mechanism was the slider slamming into the top tuck tab of the toggle, and dislodging it. Are there commercial risers for sale that have this design toggle, but with normal three-ring system, rather than reversed layout? Or would that require the efforts of a master rigger to create?
  6. Having spent the better part of my sunday with four clubmates recovering a chopped canopy out of some trees (result: succes!), I started thinking about steering toggles, half-brake settings and toggle fires. The canopy was chopped because of a toggle fire (jumper landed uneventfully under reserve). What's the best riser design you've seen so far in terms of reducing/eliminating the risk of toggle fires upon opening, and why? What are the elements that go into making something that is highly resistant to unintended toggle release?
  7. Easy, it all has to do with air density. At high altitude, the air is less dense. This means that your canopy (all else kept equal) will have lower air resistance at the same speed. Thus, for steady flight in less dense air the canopy ends up going faster. Both faster forward, and faster downwards. Both of these is also something a smaller canopy will do relative to a larger canopy (at same exit weight). To counter this behaviour, the best way is to increase canopy size.
  8. 1) At my home club, a wingloading of 1.22 would be considered too high for a 38-jump A-licensed student. Conventional wisdom calls for a wingloading around 1.0. But if you are 82kg now, and add ~15kg for equipment, your exit weight would be around 95-100kg. Round up to 100kg, and you would need a 220sqft canopy to hit 1.0 wingloading. 2) Breaking stuff on every landing is indeed unsustainable. High altitude is typically equated to an effective smaller canopy size. So you will likely need to jump a bigger canopy. But you also need to be able to roll out a landing. Practice it lots on the ground, and upsize further if needed. Upsizing is underrated. My advice: find a colorado-local skydiving club, and talk with their instructors. Let them know your history and experience (bring your logbooks) and listen to their advice regarding canopy and training. They should know how to handle students jumping in higher altitudes, and they should have the correct student gear available for rent.
  9. Honestly, if your body can't handle the occasional quicker openings (I'm not talking the out-of-the-ordinary slammers), then I should at least think twice before skydiving. Because any high-speed malfunction (pilot-chute in tow, or just unable to pull it, or whatever) will result in your reserve opening while you're at terminal velocity. That opening won't be soft and snivelly by any stretch of the imagination. There is an element of risk inherent to this sport. You can do many things to reduce it like get a canopy designed and known for soft openings, get dacron lines, pack super-duper-well (or super-duper-trashy, sometimes that also depends on the canopy), and several other things alluded to in this thread. You cannot completely eliminate the risk of either canopy opening like shit. If you want to reduce the risk of hard openings as much as possible, I suggest you also talk to some riggers. Plural, each rigger has their own experiences, and none of them is godlike and all-knowing.
  10. I agree that the three-ring system and the collins lanyard are not the same. But the relative length difference of the cutaway cables has a direct influence on the workings of the three-ring system (see the patent), in addition to the question whether or not they should or could be uneven or even when a collins lanyard is installed. And yes, I'm starting to think the cutaway cables should be even. A collins lanyard would be a useful addition, as it provides additional security in case of a riser break on the RSL side (below the RSL attachment). Then again, I'm just starting on this whole rigging thingy, so I'm definitely willing to change my opinion in light of solid arguments ^_^.
  11. Bill Booth's original patent explicitely states that the disconnection needs to happen simultaneously, which means that the cables should be even. http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=4337913.PN.&OS=PN/4337913&RS=PN/4337913 (hope this works... Otherwise, search for US patent number 4337913 and see the third-to-last paragraph of the detailed description)
  12. If I understood some of the US teams that used them correctly, she flies like a dream but opens like a nightmare. A real specialist's canopy, useless for anyone who doesn't want to squeeze the absolute maximum amount of points within the working time.
  13. I'm not sure there even exists such a list. But on a per-country basis you should be able to figure it out by diving into that country's regulations. If I understand the Dutch regulations correctly (I should, since I've just been tested on them), foreign rigger ratings are accepted directly only when used to pack equipment for foreign visiting jumpers (so a US jumper here should be able to jump his rig which was inspected and packed by an FAA rigger that does not hold a Dutch SR or MR rating). For those cases, some of the foreign rules apply instead of the Dutch rules, especially with respect to time validity of the repack and use of a seal on the reserve packjob, but not with respect to the use of an AAD (mandatory here in the Netherlands for all jumpers). For any other case, a holder of a foreign rating can ask the board of the RNAA parachuting section to issue him/her the equivalent Dutch rating.
  14. In four years of visiting the USA for jumping, I have never heard of practical examples where a foreign jumper was not allowed to jump their own gear while it was complying with their home regulations. This includes my own equipment, which is a Vector II rig, with PDR-193 reserve (both obviously TSO'd), which were packed by a Dutch master rigger who did not hold an FAA rigger rating. Furthermore, I know of at least one company (SkyWide Systems, based in Ukraine) that manufactures rigs without a formal TSO rating. They state their rigs have been tested according to TSO C23d standards, but they don't have the formal rating due to a myrad of legal international relations issues. Several European friends of mine are jumping their rigs, and to my knowledge none have ever had any issues jumping at a US dropzone with their equipment. Dutch law regarding skydiving operations do not put any requirements on the equipment used by jumpers, and deals almost exclusively with the pilot responsibilities regarding class of airspace, ATC contact, flight conditions etc. All skydiver-related regulations are handled by the RNAA (KNVvL in Dutch). Their regulations state that the jumper himself is responsible for ensuring their equipment is up to scratch (except for sub-A license jumpers who are not jumping their own equipement, in that case the instructor responsible for them is responsible for the equipment). Airworthiness and periodic inspections are regulated to be done only by Master Riggers and Senior Riggers respectively. Several regulations state explicitely that for foreign visiting jumpers, the relevant regulations of their home country apply instead. If I remember tonight, I'll email you a list of my own interactions with US dropzones, none of which resulted in an FAA rigger having to repack my stuff.
  15. I personally use a leg-mounted flagbag. It holds a flag that attaches to my foot on the bottom end (via an easily released connection), and can hook into my risers on the top end. Added advantage is that there is no weights to deal with. This bag can be taken to terminal without issues (as long as it is tight enough, so don't understuff it). Made of parapac, binding tape, webbing, chest strap hardware and a main cutaway cable. Any rigger with some sewing experience and the ability to set grommets can sew it for you.
  16. The best thing I found to prevent the feared ball-under malfunction is to tighten the leg straps as tight as possible on the ground. The tighter they are on the ground, the more comfortable the rig will be in the air. And if the rig presses down on your shoulders hard as you tighten the leg straps, then the MLW is likely too short. Best way to figure out: try it.
  17. And what's the problem with that? Skydiving shouldn't be about license progression but about having fun in the air. Wanting to get better at it is natural, but stressing out that it's going to slow your license down is focusing on the wrong parts. And the best way to get better at flying is to try lots of times, and make good use of coaching. Jump with someone experienced who can see (and maybe video) your exits in real-time, and keep practicing. And above all, don't forget to keep having fun!
  18. Height of the lines is something we use already, but is not foolproof (for example, the steering lines with toggles set are about the same length as the C-lines). I might prefer using cotton instead of nylon. The marking thread won't have any load-bearing function, and I would rather that it brakes if it somehow does come under tension.
  19. Unfortunately, it's not that simple because I'm not the only one who has to make the decision (to be precise: this is about me wanting to improve the way our students learn packing, but I'm not the head honcho in charge of our clubs equipment). So with the restriction that no markers can be used anywhere, even on non-loadbearing parts, what are other ways to more easily differentiate lines into the different linegroups are possible?
  20. Quick search through these forums result in many different opinions about marking line attachment points for ease of identification during packing. Some of you are absolutely convinced marking with [favourite-marker-type] can do no harm, some of you are already lighting the torches to burn people at the stake for doing it. That got me thinking: would there be a method for non-permanent marking of line attachment points without using any marker or pen or anything liquid based, thus sidestepping that whole rabbit hole. Do any of you have any experience with tying small pieces of coloured string through the line attachment points (no piercing of the actual tape) for this purpose? Does it actually help packing? Does it show any extra wear on the line attachment tapes? What exact material did you use for it? I'm thinking something nylon, since the tape is already nylon so I wouldn't expect any adverse material/material interactions.
  21. Skills, much more important than canopy type.
  22. Piecing some stuff together is a perfectly valid way. Especially if you're kinda picky about your reserve type/size, main type/size etc, it's a better road than waiting for the perfect complete rig to float by on the classifieds. However, do get in touch with a local rigger about this. For one, he/she usually has an idea of what's for sale in the immediate vicinity (and might even have something directly for sale), and secondly the entire assembly needs to be compatible. Not a huge issue, but a rigger is the perfect way to ensure that main/reserve/AAD/rig are indeed going to play nicely together. Also, start reading these forums about mains, reserves, AADs, rigs etc. For example, reserve size is something you'll have to think about. There are some schools of thought, from "reserve should be similar in size to the main" (makes them play nice in the event of a two-out), to "reserve size should be as large as will reasonably fit in the rig" (my preference, because I'd rather have more fabric than less fabric over my head in case of an emergency). And talk about it with people (especially instructors/riggers) at your own DZ.
  23. Yet I don't remember any mention of jetstream in that book. Big-ass thunderstorms, cumulonimbus and a side dish of hailstones, yes. But no jetstream unless my memory has really gone downhill...
  24. And if you have a rigger that doesn't want to teach you something about your own equipment, find another rigger.
  25. My advice to you: don't jump. This sport can get you killed, or worse: injured for life. If you are unwilling to accept that, and unwilling to accept the knowledge and expertise already gained by the skydiving community in the past 50 or so years with regards to making the sport safer, this sport is not for you. Take up chess, since even bowling can get you injured. The only useful thing you can do on these forums is provide us with comic relief, but even that act is wearing thin.